Quality is the worst brand message because it’s meaningless

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

6 November 2013

Quality is not job one

Quality. I’ve decided that I hate the word and it’s a terrible brand message.

I know. Hate is a strong feeling to have about anything. But, when this word is plastered on billboards or lingering around slogans, I can’t help but feel a welling sense of anger.

“When I see the term quality, I see a brand that has taken the easy way out, and lacks all originality.”

Is there any term as commonly used as a brand message and equally as meaningless?

Brand messageHaving a sense of quality should be an absolute with any company seeking to steal market share. It, however, shouldn’t be a measure of differentiation, ever. Consumers should expect that what you do will have a degree of excellence (or quality) stamped on it no matter what. If not, you shouldn’t be in the game to begin with. So when I see the term quality, I see a brand that has taken the easy way out, and lacks all originality.

This is one overused brand message

Here’s the gist of what I mean:

You may not realize this but at Wendy’s, “Quality is our recipe.”

Ernst & Young will offer you, “Quality in everything we do.”

Oh, and by the way, at Ford, “Quality is job one.”

Here are some of my own, which most likely you could find in the marketplace, too:

“Quality Service, every time.”

“Quality is our middle name.”

“Where quality comes first.”

It’s time to take meaningless drivel like this out of the equation. So listen up, those of you who believe “quality is key” — it isn’t!

See more posts in the following related categories: Brand message Ernst & Young FORD Marketing cliches Marketing slogans wendys


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